Arrow season 8: Emily Bett Rickards’ message & Felicity Smoak’s importance

Emily Bett RickardsIt is still difficult to process the news that Arrow season 8 will be the final season, even if we’ve had a few days to (try and) accept it. It’s just not easy. This is a landmark, genre-defining show that oozed creativity and commitment. The fact that so many cast members are emotional are a further sign of just how tight-knight the show family was. These are people who worked, at times, around the clock, giving up the personal lives and being away from their friends and families. If they didn’t enjoy what they did, they wouldn’t have made it this long. It would’ve been miserable.

The image below from star Emily Bett Rickards’ Instagram page just serves as another reminder of how close the cast came to be over these past several years, and how much they will likely miss each other. They’ve still got another ten episodes left beyond this current run, so the more emotional goodbyes are coming. (We say that knowing, full well, that a lot of people are very emotional already.)

We could spend the entirety of this article discussing simply Rickards’ message, but there is something beyond this greater of discussion: The impact of Felicity Smoak as a character, and her importance within this role.

From an acting level, what Rickards managed to do through seven years is prove that if you nail a character and get audiences/producers to fall in love with your work, you can achieve almost anything within this business. Felicity was never conceived at first to be the future wife of Oliver Queen; she was only meant as a recurring character in the first season, a smaller player within the DC Comics world. Yet, over time the producers responded to her popularity, making her into a series regular and then also eventually treating her on the level of one of the show’s most-important characters. Felicity is treated by many as a role model, a reminder that you don’t need super-powers or to spend countless hours in the gym (or on a salmon ladder) to be a hero. Characters like her had existed before, but her combination of humor and heart boosted her to a level few had ever seen.

Credit also must be given to the production staff for also being flexible to the demands and interests of the fans. So many times in this business there are people who get so beholden on their predetermined ideas that you lose something in the process. Maybe your original pitch in a writers’ room three or four months ago was great, but maybe an even better idea is presenting itself in the present that you did not expect. It’s okay to deviate from a plan and to put the extra work in. It makes the show better as a whole, and Felicity Smoak certainly made the world of Arrow better. Those decisions early on in the series’ run allowed for a greater sense of flexibility not just on Arrow, but the entire CW – DC Comics universe as a whole. It taught producers to follow the lead from their actors and their fans; sometimes, shows will find themselves through what happens the day of shooting.

Kudos to Rickards, the producers, and everyone who made Arrow. The show changed the game, and for Felicity, she is on equal footing.

If you missed it…

Check out what the end of Arrow could mean for The Flash and Supergirl at the link here. Meanwhile, let us know your thoughts on both Rickards’ message and Felicity’s impact below!

 

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I’ve been trying to find the words to simply say what the last seven years have meant to me, and I believe this photo sums it up! It’s a cuddle puddle. Everyone here is exhausted and smiling. Everyone here looks at home. The incredible mind of my friend @schwartzapproved will be taking Arrow into its 8th & final season sending it off with pride, power and love. Without this show I would have not met the inspiring people pictured here nor those I have gotten to work with and get to work with everyday. People who have become my family. I’m excited to see what is in store for the story we have been telling. I’m excited and nervous. A combination of emotions Felicity Smoak vibrates at frequently. Needless to say without the last seven years I wouldn’t have met her… Thank you to all of you for your massive support, passion and accompanying us on this journey. It’s because of you we found each other. 🥂

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